Malatesta Fortress 2017-01-10T20:08:02+00:00
Malatesta Fortress

The Malatesta Fortress is a fortified defensive structure erected nearby the banks of the Castellano river. The Fortress is accessible from the Ponte di Cecco, also referred to as the “Devil’s Bridge”: legend has it that Francesco Stabili (Cecco d’Ascoli) built the bridge in only one night with the Devil’s help. The area where the building is located was formerly a Roman thermal spa. Other buildings were constructed on this site over time, especially defensive structures aimed at strengthening the city’s gateways after the defeat suffered by the ascolani at the hands of Gneo Pompeo Strabone in 91 BC. In the Middle Ages, the Fortress was repaired and renovated after the Lombards destroyed it. However, it was flattened again in 1242. Galeotto Malatesta rebuilt it in 1349 during his office as Lord of Ascoli. Today’s irregular-shaped Fortress was designed and built by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane between 1540 and 1543 on assignment of Pope Paul III Farnese. The entire urban defensive work reopened to the public after a ten-year renovation (2000-2010) developed by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Marche Region. Nowadays, the Malatesta Fortress houses a multi-purpose museum housing the Museum of the Early Middle Ages and rooms for temporary exhibitions.